Host an energy-free potluck party

If it’s too hot to fire up the grill this July 4, then it’s too warm indoors to heat up the oven. The solution: Host an energy-free potluck for the holiday and ask each guest to bring a cold dish that does not require any cooking before the party or heating during the event.

Some suggestions: 

  • Salads featuring ripe, red tomatoes and other fresh veggies from the backyard garden
  • Bruschetta (a mix of chopped tomatoes, olive oil and basil)
  • Hard cheeses and fancy crackers
  • Coleslaw. Try shredding apples instead of cabbage for a summery twist
  • Watermelon mixed with a drizzle of oil, apple cider vinegar, cilantro and mint
  • Tangy homemade salsa and guacamole. See recipe below.
  • Fruit platter for dessert
  • A bonus:The no-heat menu means no sweaty, last-minute kitchen duty for the hostess.

Cilantro Lime Salsa

Illustration of salsa and quacamole


  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 1½ t. coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 large jalapenos, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 t. salt

Combine ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with red, yellow, orange and green pepper spears or tortilla chips.